Playing live

Grassroots live music is the foundation and seed bed of so much that is vital, dynamic and joyful in British music. Having played so many of the small venues around London, in addition to having been to so many pubs, clubs and halls as a punter and for the industry, I tip my hat to the capital’s local venues that have nurtured live music and musicians since I moved to the city full-time in 1977.  The following are just a mere handful of these, some of which are still staging gigs, others just a wonderful memory.

Blue Nose Acoustic Café, Highbury
Bull & Gate, Kentish Town (first solo gig 27/3/89)
Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush
Cabbage Patch, Twickenham
Chickenshed Theatre, Southgate
Corks’ Bar, London W1
Crown & Bull, Chingford
Diorama, Regent’s Park, NW1
Flounder & Firkin, Holloway Rd
Gillespie Park Festival, Arsenal, N4
God’s Little Joke, Old Bull, SW4
The Grapes, New Barnet
Grey Horse, Kingston, Surrey
Kings Head, Fulham
Marquee Café, Greek St, Soho
Mean Fiddler Acoustic Room, NW10
Pitcher & Piano, Richmond, Surrey
Pop Bar, Soho St, W1
Roadhouse, Covent Garden
Spitz, Spitalfields, E1
Subterania, Ladbroke Grove
Taylors, Soho St, W1
The Albany, Gt Portland St, W1
The Borderline, Orange Yard, W1
The Orange, North Kensington
The Standard, Walthamstow
The Troubadour, Earls Court
Torrington, High Rd, Finchley
Upstairs at Ronnie Scotts, Soho
White Horse, Brentford

Plus a nod to those function/party gigs, which are the lifeblood of many working musicians, i.e. the Gloucester Hotel, SW7 and the Tara Hotel, High St Kensington.

My heartfelt thanks to Ian McConnell, Simon Gardner, Rupert May, Fiona Soe Paing, James Reynolds, Jimmy Cannon, Patrick Gilbey, Tina Barron, Marianne de Chastelaine, Alistair James, John Park, Matt McKay, Dave Williamson, Jim Hawkins, Joanne Ruocco.


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Songwriter and music industry consultant.
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